A former drama student at Missouri's Stephens College, redheaded leading lady Anne Gwynne was signed to a Universal Pictures contract in 1939. Pretty and vivacious, Gwynne was a welcome presence in Universal's "B" product, appearing in many of the studio's horror films (The Black Cat, The Strange Case of Dr. Rx, Weird Woman, House of Frankenstein et. al.). She also played the villainous Sonja in the 1940 serial Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe and appeared with Abbott and Costello in Ride 'Em Cowboy (1941). Free-lancing after Universal cut her loose in 1945, Gwynne played Tess Trueheart in RKO's Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947). She left films briefly in the mid-1950s, making an undistinguished comeback in Teenage Monster (1958), as the mother of the title character. Gwynne was coaxed out retirement once more in 1970 for Adam at 6 AM, playing the wife of another veteran of Hollywood's "B" mills, Richard Derr. Anne Gwynne is the mother of actress Gwynne Gilford.